If you're striving for an hourglass figure with a small waist and sizable assets, you'll have to attack your workout routine with a vengeance. Not only is this form and figure aesthetically pleasing, but it's healthier, too.
"A 'flat butt' is actually an injured butt," said Gabe Hihira, certified personal trainer and co-owner of Fitness Butlers. "The neurological system has turned off the glutes due to overuse, pain or too much tension [from the hips]. More than likely the answer will be hips due to the sedentary lifestyle most of us live in.
"This is an issue structurally around the hip that then leads further up the spine or down to the lower extremities. [This] creates a whole bunch more issues like lack of physical movement and lack of quality rest, which then comes full circle and doesn't allow you to function well, train and move efficiently." Hihira stressed the importance of a strong butt — glutes are the pillar of optimal strength, he adds.
When it comes to the abdomen, visceral fat — the type of fat that develops around your waist and pads organs — is one of the unhealthiest types of fats you can develop. Visceral fat has been linked to diseases such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. To attain a flat stomach and big butt, there certain exercises that can help develop these goal attributes.
Score a Flat Stomach
A flat stomach has always been a characteristic that many have strived for. To attain a flat stomach, you must incorporate ab exercises as well as cardio into your workout routine.
For ab exercises, try incorporating crunches and bicycles, which prove to have the highest rectis abdominis activation. According to a study by San Diego State University, the bicycle and captain's chair ab exercises were the most recommended ab exercises for abdominal activation.
To perform a crunch, start by lying down on your back with your hands behind your head to support your neck. Place your feet flat on the ground with your knees bent. Contract your abs as you crunch and roll up, breathing out as you go higher and higher until your shoulder blades lift off the ground. Lower down with control and repeat. Complete 20 to 30 repetitions.
To perform the bicycle exercise, start by lying down on your back with your hands behind your head to support your neck. Bend your knees and bring them up above your hips.
Engage your abs and crunch up, bringing your right elbow over to your left knee while you extend your right leg out to hover above the ground. Return to center while still contracting your abs and crunch over to the other side. Bring your left elbow over to your right knee as you extend your left leg out to hover above the ground. Complete 20 to 25 repetitions.
To be able to see a flat, chiseled stomach, it's important to burn the fat off of your tummy with cardio. The best workouts for a flat stomach are sprints, steady state cardio, and high-intensity interval training workouts, which expend "6 to 15% more calories to the overall workout energy expenditure" than a normal cardio workout.
Incorporate HIIT training by performing a high intensity move for a short period of time and follow it up with a short period of rest. For example, sprint for 100 meters and then walk or jog for 50 meters. Repeat this 5-10 times.
Build a Bigger Butt
Have you ever seen an Olympic athlete with a flat butt? I don't think so! That's because the glutes are the largest muscle in the entire body. With strong glutes, you develop power, strength, and speed. To develop a bigger butt, you must incorporate weight training, plyometrics, and speed training into your workout.
"The gluteal muscle group (buttock), is the region of muscles that puts strength to the body, which in turn puts the body in motion," said Lawrence Athill, USA Track & Field Coach and coach at the Pleasantville Track Club.
"Hamstrings are the most recognized set of muscles but their limited range-of-motion of strength, has been overly exaggerated. Their recognition is based upon the fact that they "pull" relatively easy, so they must be the most essential."
Some of the best strength training exercises for building a bigger butt are squats, lunges, step-ups, and glute bridges. In order to grow, the glutes need resistance so it is recommended to add heavier weight to your exercises if you want to grow a strong, round butt.
"Glutes play a massive part in function, strength, power and stability," said Adam Smith, head strength & conditioning coach at Thanyapura. Glutes are the main stabilizer of the hips," add Hihira. "Hip flexors create speed and speed equals power but the agonist/antagonist relationship between hips and glutes determine how much force can be produced to essentially have the speed/power."
Plyometrics exercises are also a great way to build a big butt. Incorporate bounds, box jumps, and lunge jumps to build a big booty. For speed training, include sprints, hills sprints, and stadium runs for a big booty building burn.
Read more: The Top 15 Exercises to Tone Your Glutes
- ACE Fitness: American Council on Exercise sponsored study Reveals Best and Worst Abdominal Exercises”
- Human Kinetics: Abdominal Strengthening Exercises: A Comparative EMG Study
- ACSM: High Intensity Interval Training.
- Harvard Health Publications: Abdominal fat and what to do about it
- ACE Fitness: American Council on Exercise (ACE)-sponsored Study Reveals Best and Worst Abdominal Exercises
- ACE Fitness: Abs!Abs!Abs!
- Library of Congress: What is the Strongest Muscle in the Entire Body